Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Community Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Capt Charles Butler McVay, III
Birth: Jul. 30, 1898
Lancaster County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Nov. 6, 1968
Litchfield County
Connecticut, USA

American Captain of the cruiser Indianapolis when it was sunk by a Japanese submarine on July 30th, 1945 after delivering the first atomic bomb to the air force. This sinking led to the largest loss of life by the United States Navy with 875 deaths. The ship was lost for 5 days by the navy with men in the water. The navy courtmarshaled the captain for not "zig zagging" the ship correctly. He is the only captain ever court marshaled for losing a ship by the United States Navy. Worn down by the many years of questions and letters of blame he committed suicide. In 2001 he was exonerated by congress and the Navy of all guilt after years of pleas from his remaining crew, school children, congressmen and even the captain of the sub that sank his ship. His story is told in the play "Failure to ZigZag" and the movie "Mission of the Shark, the last voyage of the Indianapolis". The general story is also mentioned in the movie "Jaws"
Family links: 
  Charles Butler McVay (1868 - 1949)
  Edith Reno McVay (1874 - 1960)
  Charles Butler McVay (1925 - 2012)*
*Calculated relationship
Cremated, Ashes scattered at sea.
Specifically: ashes scattered at Bayou Liberty near Slidel LA
Created by: Leonard L. Brown
Record added: Jul 08, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 20356789
Capt Charles Butler McVay, III
Added by: Mike Serpa
Capt Charles Butler McVay, III
Added by: J.Sullivan
Capt Charles Butler McVay, III
Added by: J.Sullivan
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Sailor - Patriot. A Man of Honor & Courage
 Added: Nov. 20, 2016
God bless you on Veteran's Day (early). Rest in Peace.
- LTC B, USAR (ret)
 Added: Nov. 9, 2016
in honor of my uncle verlin(buzz)fortin who served under you on the uss indianapolis thank you for your part in winning ww2 rest in peace capt.mcvay
- p d. murphy
 Added: Nov. 6, 2016
There are 226 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
This page is sponsored by: Cami

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service